Prime minister Mariano Rajoy requested the approval of the Senate for invoking Article 155 of the Constitution of Kingdom of Spain to stop the “continuous process of anti-democratic decisions” and introduce a direct rule over Catalonia.
In half and hour speech, interrupted by applause of the audience, Rajoy repeated the position already articulated on many occasions, qualifying the grass-root independence movement of Catalans, and their referendum “illegal”. Rajoy insisted “the law, the rule of law, and respect of minorities have been trampled underfoot”, – the phrase unleashed first ovation.
“The time has come for the law to be imposed above all considerations, not against Catalonia, but to prevent abuse of Catalonia, not to suspend autonomy, but to consolidate it,” Rajoy said.
“What is threatening Catalonia today is not the 155, but the attitude of the Government of the Generalitat” – he continued, underlining that he intends to save Catalonia from being owned by “intolerant minority.” Rajoy also denied “Spanish imperialism” as an element in his move.
Rajoy indicated four objectives of Article 155 application exceptional decision: to recover the legality, to recover the coexistence, to preserve the recovery and to hold snap elections. “My will is to call elections as soon as possible,” he said.
In summing up the measures he intends to implement, Rajoy began by the cessation of the president Carles Puigdemont and the Catalan government.